IPL 2024: Rawat, Karthik's heroics take RCB to 173/6 as Mustafizur's 4-29 rattles them

March 22, 2024
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Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) made a brisk start, stumbled in the middle, and then finished off in a canter as they reached

Chennai, March 22 (IANS) Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) made a brisk start, stumbled in the middle, and then finished off in a canter as they reached 173/6 in 20 overs thanks mainly to superb rearguard innings by Aunj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik, who scored 95 runs for the sixth wicket at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.

The brisk start was provided by skipper Faf du Plessis, but the stumble was courtesy of the early dismissal of Virat Kohli (21), Rajat Patidar (0), Glenn Maxwell (0) Cameroon Green (18) and RCB slumped to 78/5 in the 12th over as Mustafizur Rahman knocked off three of those wickets, and Anuj Rawat (48) and Dinesh Karthik (38 not out) provided the final flourish as RCB reached a decent total in their opening match.

Young Bangladesh Mustafizur Rahman was brilliant as he used the conditions well, varied the pace, mixed slow balls well, and ended with 4-29 in four overs.

Skipper Faf du Plessis hammered eight fours in scoring a 23-ball 35 after winning the toss and electing to bat first. He and Virat Kohli, who crossed 12,000 runs in T20 cricket — the first Indian batter to do so, just held one end up as they reached 41 in the fifth over. Faf waded into Deepak Chahar in the third over, hitting him for 17 runs including three fours, two of them off successive balls. He fell in the fifth over, hitting uppishly to Rachin Ravindra off Mustafizur Rahman, who was making his CSK debut on Friday.

Rahman struck again two balls later when Rajat Patidar nicked on behind to M.S Dhoni, beaten for pace. Glenn Maxwell was out for a duck edging behind off Charar and when Virat Kohli, who compiled a 21 off 20 balls (1×6), and Cameron Green (18) fell off the third and sixth delivery of the 12th over bowled by Mustafizur, RCB were struggling at 78/5 and looking like they may fail to cross 100.

However, Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik had other ideas as they combined to blast 95 runs in the sixth wicket partnership as RCB hammered 84 runs off the last five over the match.

Rawat started slowly scoring mostly through singles but after he picked pace, blasted 25 runs off the 18th over bowled by Tushar Deshpande, hammering him for three sixes — first punched over the bowler’s head, slogged over midwicket and a flat six over long-on and a four off a slow bouncer. In the next over, he picked Mustafizur for a six and four. Deshpande had the last laugh as he bowled a fine final over to concede only nine runs before Rawat was run out by Dhoni off the final delivery of the match.

The experienced Dinesh Karthik, who had a brilliant season in 2022 for RCB, in the meanwhile three boundaries and two sixes as he remained not out on 38 off 25 balls, proving an able foil for his young batting partner. Though RCB reached a decent total, it will take a strong bowling effort from them to restrict CSK from scoring 174 in their den.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 173/6 in 20 overs (Anuj Rawat 48, Dinesh Karthik 38 not out, Faf du Plessis 35; Mustafizur Rahman 4-29) against Chennai Super Kings.

–IANS

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